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In the recently released trailer for Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, we see Arthur Fleck from his pre-Joker Times scribbling some “jokes” in his book. During the scene (photo below), he’s writing with his left hand.

Arthur Fleck writing a note using his left hand in The Joker trailer

As far I remember, Phoenix isn’t a left handed actor (because I couldn’t find him on this list of left handed actors here), so that got me thinking.

Is the Joker actually left handed? Looking for evidences from comics, animated series or movies.

  • 9
    Out-of-universe: It's not uncommon for actors to write with their non-dominant hand if they want their writing to appear sloppy for whatever reason (for example: playing a character recovering motor skills after trauma). Considering the last "joke" is significantly sloppier than the previous lines, it may be part of using the writing to show the mental breakdown of Joker. – Jimmy M. Apr 4 at 17:44
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    He's certainly sinister. – Mark Apr 4 at 20:09
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    It would be interesting if the Joker, pre-Joker, was right handed. Then after [one bad day] happens, he becomes left handed. – BruceWayne Apr 5 at 4:34
  • Everything but the last part (starting with "people expect") is written in much better handwriting. In this screenshot he seems to be writing the last part with his left hand - and, in fact, the handwriting looks like off-hand handwriting. If that handwriting is what his left hand does, we can assume that the other stuff is written with his other hand. Therefore, it seems likely to me that he is right-handed. – Misha R Oct 7 at 4:07
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TL;DR: It varies across the different media, universes and series. However, in some he is "predominantly left handed", others appears to be mostly right handed and others ambidextrous.

In The Dark Knight Vol 2 issue 3 we see Batman state that the Joker is predominantly left handed which would mean he has some use of both hands.

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However, in The Joker issue 2 we see him use both hands but mainly his right hand. It seems to be inconsistent and it is probably left down to the writer to decide which he uses. He could quite easily be ambidextrous.

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In The Dark Knight the Joker appears to be right handed, we see him show the card, drink and use a sub machine gun all with his right hand.

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In Batman: The Killing Joke he appears to be right handed.

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In Batman: The Animated Series he appear to be able to use both.

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    I say ambidexterity – Steve Harrington Apr 4 at 10:45
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    I'm not sure I'd count the examples where he's using a gun - particularly any gun which requires both hands. Most of those are designed for right-handed use and modifying them to be used left-handed is not always possible. – Darrel Hoffman Apr 4 at 13:06
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    @DarrelHoffman The only modification needed is which side the shells come out of and he doesn't strike me as the sort to worry about that. – TheLethalCarrot Apr 4 at 13:11
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    It depends on the gun. I'm no expert (I've only worked with modified guns for training systems), but I've used a few rifles where there's a slide that kicks back on one side when you fire, and if your face is on that side you could lose an eye. Maybe not an issue with the Tommy-gun he's using there though... – Darrel Hoffman Apr 4 at 13:17
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    This came up before with Luke Sywalker, but I'll say it again here: Left-handed people, due to having to live in a world designed for ease of use by right-handers, tend to be a lot better with their off-hand than righties are. So we are much more apt to use the right for things when that would be more convenient for some reason. For example, I can mouse/keyboard either way, but when right-handed folks sit down at my station, they inevitably cross their arms in a most uncomfortable-looking fashion. – T.E.D. Apr 4 at 22:05
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There is at least one canon comic where he's "predominantly left handed." I have no idea whether or not this is contradicted elsewhere.

From Dark Knight #3:

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Here, when he murders Jason Todd in A Death in the Family he alternates hands:

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  • Though the first example could also be Batman lying to disturb that fake Joker. – Paŭlo Ebermann Apr 4 at 23:30
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    @PaŭloEbermann does Batman lie? That's probably an exchange question in its own right. – Moriarty Apr 4 at 23:52
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    In my limited experience, frenziedly mashing stuff with a crowbar typically doesn't require the fine motor control of the dominant hand. – Wossname Apr 5 at 6:51
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    @Wossname You obviously don't share the Joker's attention to detail and precision when it comes to the fine art of frenzied murder. – Philipp Apr 5 at 11:25
  • @Philipp, yeah I had to skip that semester while I was busy recruiting henchmen. Good help is so hard to find. – Wossname Apr 5 at 12:15
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In the movie Joker, he has a very mixed handedness, writing left-handed then shooting the guys on the train left-handed. When he handles the scissors and stabs up his former coworker with them he uses his right hand, as well as when he smokes cigarettes he uses his right hand and seems to looks more natural while using his right, in my opinion. I clicked on this page to try to find out if throughout the history of the Joker character he seemed ambidextrous; looks like the evidence isn't very clear from everyone's responses.

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"The Joker" mostly uses his right hand in the Arkham games to try and shoot Batman

Joker holding a pistol in his right hand

But you have to remember also that the Joker in the movie Joker is not "The Joker" that fights Batman. No, The Joker in the movie Joker is a different Joker that is set during the time of "Thomas Wayne" Batman's Father and in this movie we don't even know if Batman was born yet. So it's not quite canon to check the comics because this isn't "The Joker" it's "Joker".

protected by TheLethalCarrot Oct 9 at 10:09

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